Austrians want the EU to engage more in economic matters but do not think that a bigger EU budget is necessary. The Corona crisis currently does not impact the general high support for EU membership, a new survey by the Austrian Society for European Politics finds.

73 percent of Austrians are currently in favour of our country remaining a member of the EU – a decrease of two percentage points compared to December 2019. 13 percent want Austria to leave the Union, an increase of 5 percentage points. 15 percent have no position (December 2019: 17 percent).

A total number of 61 Austrian-wide ÖGfE-surveys since 1995 indicate that – despite fluctuations – Austrians in favour of EU-membership have continuously formed a clear majority. On average the number of membership supporters has been at around 70 percent versus 22 percent of leavers. The highest support for EU-membership was recorded in November 1999 (82 percent) and June/July 2002 (80 percent), the strongest wish to leave the EU in June/July 2008 (33 percent) respectively in June 2015 (32 percent).

Almost nine out of ten respondents (87 percent) think that there is a need for more EU global engagement in economic matters, while a little under a tenth (9 percent) do not think this way and 4 percent do not comment on this.

Austrians are divided on the amount of the future EU budget. 29 percent want an increase, 29 percent prefer a reduction.42 percent state that the amount of the current EU budget is sufficient to meet the challenges ahead.

Background:

The current survey was conducted by Sozialwissenschaftliche Studiengesellschaft (SWS) from 30 March to 14 April on behalf of ÖGfE (Tel SWS 290). 512 persons were interviewed by telephone (representative of the Austrian population aged 16 and older / weighted according to gender, age and education). Maximum fluctuation range approx. +/- 4.3 percent.